Young Life and summer camp hold such a BIG place in my heart! I’ve loved summer camp since I was little but Young Life Camp is in a whole different category for MANY reasons!
Castaway Club which is located in Detroit Lakes, MN was the first camp I ever took kids to in 2015! It was the first time experiencing a Young Life Camp and in the first 8 hours, I was BLOWN away! The staff and assign team were ready for us and helped us leaders be prepared to share the gospel with kids in SO many different ways. From how pristine the dining hall was set up, to how the program team had our kids belly laughing, they prepared a way for us to share the good news of Jesus!
Castaway Club holds another VERY special memory for me, as this is where I met Ryan, my now husband!! Cue all the summer camp crush lines! Ryan and I were serving as Work Crew Bosses the summer of 2017. Ryan and I worked closely as I was the dining hall boss and he was the pits boss. My crew of kids cleaned the dining hall after each meal and gave the dirty dishes to his crew of kids! Oh yes, I tried so hard to NOT like him but jokes on me and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!
I was asked if I could fulfill the position super last minute and WOW, am I glad I was able to do so. I happened to not have any weddings booked so I HAPPILY said YES…even though I had no clue what being a dining hall boss meant! God knew what he was doing when he called us to this summer assignment and I’m continually reminded that His plan is ALWAYS better than what I could ever imagine!
I had 16 kids who served, cleaned and prepared the dining hall for 3 meals a day and for 4 weeks straight! We served around 325 kids each week and I loved watching my kids make connections with their tables and really lean into what it meant to serve. It was HARD but some of the BEST moments were made from all those long hours!
We had 36 kids in total on work crew that year and each one had their specific team they served on. We all came in not knowing each other and left feeling like a family. Ryan and I still have continued relationships with many of those kids and it brings us such joy that we are able to walk through life with them…even if we live in different states!
This summer we were so excited to have the opportunity to go back to Castaway Club and serve as the dining hall boss and pits boss again. Sadly, summer camps won’t be happening as planned so we won’t get to relive the summer we met!
THANK YOU to ALL Young Life Staff! Property staff, area directors, student staff, admins, service center and last but not least our faithful volunteer leaders! WE SEE YOU! We are thankful for you and we couldn’t share the gospel with kids without YOU and ALL that you do!
Till next time, Castaway!
My whole crew of beautiful servers! (Above) Dani, my juice girl (below)…yes, we need someone for all the drinks!
Ryan’s pits crew doing ALLLLL the dishes!